US watching trust vote with fingers crossed | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 21, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 21, 2008

US watching trust vote with fingers crossed

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI (M)) General Secretary Prakash Karat (L) gestures as he comes out with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati (C) after a meeting with third front leaders in New Delhi yesterday. After meeting Left and Third Front leaders, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati said that they will defeat the UPA in the trust vote.Photo: AFP

With the fate of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government hanging in balance over the India-US civil nuclear deal, the Washington establishment is keeping its fingers crossed and lips sealed before Tuesday's trust vote.
The White House and the State Department have refrained from offering a comment lest it be taken as interference in another country's domestic affairs, but officials sure are hoping the Manmohan Singh government would survive.
For, the government's survival alone would give the embattled President George W Bush one last chance to score a major foreign policy success of his administration though given the US legislative calendar, it still would not be a sure thing.
Absorbed as it is in the long US presidential election campaign, the US media had paid little attention to the brewing crisis in New Delhi so far, but the impending trust vote has indeed caught its attention.
"Even in the cacophony of Indian politics, there is one thing that everyone seems to agree on: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has absolute faith in his country's controversial civilian nuclear deal with the US," noted influential Time newsmagazine in a piece titled "Nuclear Brinksmanship".
So unshakable is his commitment to the agreement that Manmohan Singh has bet his political future on it, the weekly said.
"On July 22, Singh will find out whether his gamble has paid off - or if it has cost him his four-year-old administration.
"If they are to keep their jobs, Singh and other Congress party members have to convince voters, as well as lawmakers who are sitting on the fence, that the leadership hasn't sold out and turned India into a US pawn," it said referring to the Leftist parties' criticism of the deal.

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